Title: The Silk of Benzaiten
Rating: This chapter is PG-13. I dunno about the other chapters yet (if there’s going to be any more.)
Warnings: Pirates arrrgh. POTCYYH xover
Pairings: KarasuxKurama, eventual KuramaxHiei.
Summery: From the moment his identity was discovered, his life was destined for chaos.
Notes: So…I sort of know where this is going. I had a thought about this a long time ago, and I decided I’d write it down. The name came from this notice that mountain mentioned? See the foreshadowing? See, see? *is shot*
Chapters Song: “Forced In” – Muse
The Silk of Benzaiten
Jack knew that one day his debts would catch up to him; they were bound to appear sooner or later. He would have preferred the latter but it apparently didn’t matter anymore because it had just become the former. Not that he had anything to do in the meantime, it was just that his search for the Fountain of Youth wasn’t going as well as it should have, and the Black Pearl was still sailing around attacking ships left and right. Now the Toguro brothers debt collector had appeared and brought his pretty little boy along with him. No. Things were not going well.
So he ran down the back streets of Tortuga and pretty much collided with every man that got in his way until he was on the outskirts of town and into the wilderness that surrounded it. The trees were thick and the vines seemed to claw at him as he stumbled through them haphazardly. It was dark and he couldn’t see jack, ha pun. Must remember that. So he looked up at the sky past the thick canopy of leaves, hoping to see the stars somewhat that would help him find his way, only to find that he was in a forest, so if he wanted any results he’d have to climb up one of them and check the stars because he wouldn’t be able to see his compass in this light.
As much as he hated to admit it, the compass hanging from it’s tie fastened to one of his belts wouldn’t be much use anyway, what he wanted was to get away from Karasu and the compass wasn’t psychic, it’d probably point to the pretty lad that had been with Karasu and lead him in the worst direction possible. At any rate it left him, alone, in the forest, hunted by a creepy Japanese pirate who was quickly making a name for himself. With no idea where he was, forced to waste time by climbing trees to stargaze while Karasu closed in on him. Or at least that was the situation until ever re-prioritized and categorized itself as a hand suddenly appeared from behind a tree and yanked him into further darkness between two large entwined roots of the trees littered about.
“Gah! You!” He shouted at slapped the hand that still held his sleeve away.
The boy stared at him dryly, or at least he though he did, the glowy eyes only expressed so much. “Please be quiet, he’s close.”
Jack shot him a curious look then stuck his out from behind the tree and squinted his eyes, all he could see was trees and the occasional falling leaf. “Not to state the obvious, but aren’t you on his side?” He asked turning back to the boy and jumping slightly, the boy was closer than he’d thought.
“Technically, yes.” He spoke, tilting his head to the side and then looking up into the trees.
“Any particular reason you find yourself aiding the enemy then?” Jack asked, pointing to himself vaguely. The boys’ animal-like eyes glowed in the dark like a foxes. If he was a fox then he’d be cunning, and he’d have a reason – an ulterior motive - in his reasoning that required him to help Jack. Perhaps if Jack tipped the scales, he himself would come out with all the profit.
“An enemy of my enemy is my friend.” He spoke, then closed his eyes and melded into the darkness of the trees, pulling Jack with him.
Two Days Earlier
The pirate’s corpse fell with a faint thud and Captain Karasu sneered at it. It served the rat right, he’d been absorbed in his own thoughts, and damn it, no one interrupted him when he was absorbed in his thoughts lest they meet a fishy death. Flicking the blood from his katana he turned to his savoir and raised an eyebrow.
“Unwise Kurama, with me dead you could’ve escaped.” He surveyed the thin man beside him with a raised eyebrow.
“I didn’t do it for you,” he snapped, crossing his arms over himself and looking away from Karasu’s intense gaze. The fact that he looked like a wet kitten didn’t escape Karasu. “I wouldn’t survive in Tortuga on my own, I need you alive.”
Karasu thought on it while he placed his katana back in its sheath and checked his yukata for blood. There was blood, however most of it was old and he hadn’t had a chance to look for new clothes since he’d been in Tortuga last year. Kurama also needed a new yukata, or possibly a women’s kimono. Karasu smirked gleefully at the thought then turned to face Kurama properly who glared back at him, his beautiful hair dishevelled and his face dirty with grime and soot.
“That’s not true. With me dead you could have taken my weapon and fled, I kidnapped you for a reason and that was because you could fight. You could have died on your ship like the others, but you defended yourself, and you defended yourself well. And so here you are. My beautiful Kurama, you’re so unwilling to give up and die. You don’t need my protection.” He extended a hand to stroke Kurama’s cheek and chuckled when it was slapped away viciously.
“If you died while in my presence the Toguro brothers would not stop until I was dead and that goes for every other pirate captain and their crew under his rule.” His captive argued, still glaring at him from a fair distance away.
Karasu clicked his tongue. “You make them sound like martyrs.”
Though his network was large and spanned over three ships and many other pirate affiliations the Toguro brothers were men of only so many morals. If Karasu died they wouldn’t care, however Karasu implied the false fact too Kurama the first time they met, purely so that Kurama had no choice but to stick with his captor for his own safety or risk becoming the Caribbean’s most hunted.
“Come.” Karasu ordered in a ‘obey me or die’ tone of voice and turned to walk down the street, his silken tresses flowing after him.
Kurama stared after him for a while, anger boiling within him at being ordered around like a mere slave until Karasu had almost disappeared into the chaos that was Tortuga’s main street. Then he knelt and riffled through the dead mans pockets unbelieving his luck when he came across a knife just perfect enough to hide in his yukata and not be too noticeable. Perhaps when he had some time alone, if he ever got time alone other than when Karasu was parading him around like a fucking prize as he was now, he’d be able to pick the seems on his sleeves and hide the blade between the layers of cloth. The handle could be discarded easily enough as long as they stayed in Tortuga for a few more nights.
Standing with a quick look at his surroundings Kurama left the body where it was and sought after Karasu, who’d disappeared into one of the taverns down the dirt street a little.
He hated this place. They’d stoped for what Karasu had said was a routine pick up of bribes, food and rum. The goats needed feed so that their cook could have milk to make their food and the men themselves needed to rest. Honestly Kurama couldn’t see how men could live in such degradation it was horrific, Karasu was a class above most of the pirates here and he was appalled at most of Karasu’s habits as it was.
Kurama considered himself a class above that. It was true that he wasn’t human, it was the very reason he’d been on the very ship Karasu had attacked and taken him from. From the frying pan into the fire, so to speak. He had expected better of these people. Trapped in his situation, unable to free himself just yet, he whimpered and lamented following Karasu around like a fucking kit would its mother. He was kitsune, not a lowly dog. And Karasu had called the crew of his ship no less than dogs in an attempt to spur them on as they were close to reaching their destination, the seas angry fists bashing against the side of the ship and covering the deck with the results of its fury. Any man who was not holding onto something was thrown off balance and eventually tossed into the oceans clasps. Davy Jones would have them.
Glaring at the inhabitants of this sordid existence he walked up the steps to the tavern and searched through the waring mass of bodies and finally spotted Karasu at a table standing beside a seated man. Ducking his head and acting the innocent defenceless captive that he truly was Kurama made his way over to the violet eyed pirate captain.
Karasu leant over the table, his face an inch away from the seated man who lent back in his wooden chair, attempting to back away from Karasu’s scrutiny with little luck. The man looked more like a geisha than a pirate with all that black muck around his eyes and the trinkets in his hair.
“Oh, its you.”
“I want my money Captain Jack,” Karasu was saying as he rested a hand on the handle of his katana, the other splayed over the table to level himself over the distance.
The geisha mans eyes slid to Kurama and then back to Karasu a few times before his lips pulled back to form a nervous smile. “How nice to see you again, Karasu.” He spoke with a solemn inclination of his head, and then stood, swaying slightly.
“Now.” Karasu prompted, his thumb flicking the tip of his katana from its sheath and into a position where it could easily be unsheathed. He shifted slightly, standing on his side, and Kurama swallowed, feeling almost sorry for the other man. If Karasu wanted too, he could have simply drawn the katana and sliced the man’s head clean off by now, with one clean strike.
But he wouldn’t would he? He wouldn’t get the money this ‘Jack’ owed to the Toguro brothers.
Jack shifted on his feet also, tugging at his sleeves a little nervously and leaning forward as he spoke, swaying on the balls of his feet. “I would think that, it would be better to allow me some time to retrieve the money. Wouldn’t you think so?”
Kurama turned his eyes to Karasu. “You’ve had long enough.”
Kurama stepped forward and grasped the sleeve of Karasu’s yukata. “Karasu… “
He almost shrank back when he turned his head to glare at him, and Jack craned his neck to look at him better, but he glared back at Karasu instead, ignoring his petty fear. Karasu may have trapped him, but he also held Karasu trapped, so long as he didn’t loose interest then Kurama would be fine. “Why don’t you give him two days, then if he doesn’t pay you and the Toguro brothers want to know why, they won’t punish you for it.” He said quietly, so that the other man couldn’t hear.
The dark haired man appeared to turn it over in his head, before he looked down to Kurama with a slight, dangerous smile. “You must have an ulterior motive for this, why would you care for a stranger?”
He didn’t have one yet, but he had heard the rumours about this certain pirate, and if he was right, doing this one a good deed might turn things to his favour. “I don’t have one.”
“Lie,” he accused in a hushed voice, narrowing his eyes at him.
Kurama felt like he’d just been shaken from the inside. “I don’t.”
“If I allow him two days what will you give me?” He asked, an intense leer suddenly creeping from his eyes.
Panicking, Kurama offered the only thing he could think of. “Me.”
Then he cursed his mouth, and thought it through properly. It would give him a chance to kill Karasu, certainly, but he wasn’t sure if he’d have enough time.
Karasu smirked triumphantly. “I knew you would come around to my side eventually, my beautiful Kurama.”
He felt sick.
Karasu straightened himself, and the katana was pushed firmly back into its sheath again. “Two days, Jack.” He called to the man who was in the process of sneaking away from them both, through the chaotic taverns occupants.
The man turned on his heel, gave a slight wave and an unconvinced smile and then stepped to the side, disappearing into the crowd. Karasu turned to look at him, and placed a large and yet delicate hand on his shoulder.
“Come,” He said, turning Kurama away and towards the taverns exit.